President Emmerson Mnangagwa has encouraged people to plant small grains as the 2019/2020 farming season approaches. S
Speaking in Chinhoyi recently after engaging in a clean-up exercise at Muzimba Business Centre, President Mnangagwa said while this rainy season promised to be better, small grains were the way to go.
“We had drought last year and there is hunger everywhere but we are bringing grain from outside. We know that this rainy season will be better but traditional grains must be grown for the family first and then the surplus can be sold.
“You know about the Presidential Input Support Scheme, that one is for the serious farmers who grow for the nation and they will continue to get support from government.”
The President said government will unlock access to agricultural finance and inputs through enhancing the Command Agriculture funding model and capacitating domestic institutions tasked with the mandate of promoting the agricultural sector among other things.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Mnangagwa said going forward, government had set aside $1, 8 billion towards the production of strategic crops, such as maize, soya beans and cotton.
“The 2018/2019 drought has seen our agricultural sector registering a negative growth rate. Of this amount, $567, 4 million has been allocated for the provision of inputs for vulnerable households and $332 million to ensure the procurement of inputs for cotton production,” President Mnangagwa said.
“A total of $968 million will augment the $2, 8 billion put forward by banks and the private sector to support the Command Agriculture Programme. A $60 million facility has been set aside for the rehabilitation of machinery under the Command Agriculture Programme while US$51 million has been allocated for the supply of various agricultural machinery from John Deere, some of which, are already being delivered.
“The importation of tractors, planters and combine harvesters from Belarus is also being accelerated,” he said.